What Drives Entrepreneurial Orientation in the Public Sector? Evidence from Germany's Federal Labor Agency

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Along with the introduction of private sector management tools, public servants are expected to act more entrepreneurially—as public managers. However, research lacks quantitative evidence on what drives entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in this context. Our article examines the antecedents of department-level EO in public sector organizations. By integrating different research streams into one study, we combine partly opposing discourses. This deductive study develops and empirically tests hypotheses on antecedents identified from private sector corporate entrepreneurship literature and from the current debate on new public management and public value management. It uses data from 250 middle managers of Germany’s Federal Labor Agency to do so. Contrary to expectations, the influence of management support, work discretion, and resources is only limited. Furthermore, a focus on key performance indicators and goal ambiguity does not seem to impede EO. Instead, a multitude of expectations, middle managers’ localism, and position tenure have the greatest impact on department-level EO. As a result, this study provides insights into the strong role of antecedents outside of administration. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for both theory and practice.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Jahrgang22
Ausgabenummer4
Seiten (von - bis)761-792
Anzahl der Seiten32
ISSN1053-1858
DOIs
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 10.2012

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